Head Up High

“I was too young to understand,

The flowers sleeping in her hands,

I was too young to understand.

Don’t cry, hold your head up high,

She would want you to.”

-Bear’s Den, Above the Clouds of Pompeii

As I travel my mind has time to wander to the many thoughts swirling through. As I surround myself with nature in Slovenia, I’ve felt quite spiritual and at peace. Today I stumbled upon a single purple flower growing in the forest. Though many would pass this small flower, I stopped and smiled. I knew that this was a sign that my guardian angel, Claire, was with me. For those reading that may be unfamiliar, Claire is my older sister who was taken away from us far too early at the age of ten. Though it’s been 16 years, the pain of the loss still resonates from time to time. This trip makes me miss her quite often. I know she’d be eager to see my pictures, talk to me on the phone, and would be there to give me a huge hug when I arrived home. 

These thoughts pang my heart with sadness. Yet as I travel, I find that she’s with me every step of the way. Whether it’s miraculously making a bus that I should’ve missed, finding a stray purple flower on a scenic hike, or through the kindness of the people I meet, I know she’s guiding me along the way.

These travels have taught me so many things, and one of these has been to entirely live in the moment. Though the days may be long at times, and my mind might be on other things, it’s important to take it all in because I may not get another chance to do so. There are times that I wish to go back to when Claire was with us. I would do anything to do so. But I’ve learned that she wouldn’t want me to long for the past, but live in the now.

Though this is easy to say while I travel and see new sights, I think it’s important to hold on to as I will soon transition back into the “real world”. I know all too well the rut that many of us fall into when working or living a routine life. However, it’s important to remember that although life may seem monotonous at times, there is so much good to be found in it, and to enjoy it all. And if the monotony becomes too much at all, there’s always a chance to change it.

I wouldn’t be where I am without this mindset, and Claire’s love of life has helped me immensely. So for those reading that may wish to be somewhere else, whether another time or place, think about what you have now and enjoy it. Sometimes we need to take a step back and remember all of the good surrounding us. 

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